If you’re a manager–particularly a corporate manager–particularly a manager in a top-down, siloed, “do it the way we’ve always done it” corporation, then The Power of Pull may be for you. It will tell you:
1. People need to learn new information and make new contacts all the time, because the challenges they will face in the future are unpredictable. You never know what it is that you will need to know, or who will be your most valuable collaborator. Seek serendipity.
2. Organizations need to create environments in which people can do all the things in #1.
And that’s it! The questions at the end of each chapter will help you see whether you (or your organization) are following the book’s advice.
I am not a manager, nor am I a corporate type, so maybe I am missing something. I thought, however, that even in 2010 when this book came out, all this was old news. Not only has there been chatter about the need to adapt to the Information Age since the 1990’s. Way back in the early 20th century, Dewey stressed that the ability to find things out is just as important as the ability to remember what we’ve already learned.
Still, I wish some people in government would read this book. Maybe they would think twice about demanding more planning, more measurement, and more standardization from community organizations that receive government funds. They could learn from this book not to stick with a model that the most nimble for-profit organizations are leaving behind, because it stifles both creativity and productivity.
We, the public, would benefit if government spent more time and more money on enabling nonprofit organizations to learn from one another and create new partnerships, instead.